Magaña Burgos, Dora Olivia

Co-founder of Clínica Msr. Oscar Romero; Founder of El Centro Cultural Centro Americano






An oral history with Dora Olivia Magaña Burgos, co-founder of Clínica Monsenor Oscar Romero and founder of El Centro Cultural Centro Americano in Los Angeles, California. This interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project. The purpose of this interview is to better understand Magaña Burgos’ life as an activist and refugee from El Salvador. Specifically, this interview covers her childhood; formation of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a revolutionary movement in El Salvador which fought fascist dictatorship and advocated social justice for the poor; Magaña Burgos remembers her years as a grassroots student organizer in El Salvador; recalls her dedication and collaboration with the FMLN and other socialist groups in El Salvador; narrates the pain and grief of losing friends in combat; reflects on her experience as a woman organizer in combat zones; recollects the time she was captured and tortured; shares her fearless desire to defend and fight for the poor; provides her strong views on feminism, women’s roles and her prideful activism during the war; discusses her contributions to the Latino community in Los Angeles, including her work at Clínica Romero; explains her interest in mental health issues pertaining to the homeless; details her long-time project with Centro Cultural Centro Americano, which offers a creative space for Central American artists and a place for healing from the atrocities of the war; and finally, talks about her poetry—which helped her heal—and three published books, in which she illustrates the memory of students and friends lost in combat.


Field Value
File Name 5770_P02_online.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 269183
Description> Dora Olivia Magaña Burgos during the interview, 2015.
Field Value
File Name 5770_P03.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 2980085
Description> Dora Olivia Magaña Burgos with interviewer, Scherly Virgill, 2015.